European commissioner for Information Society and Media
European mobile operators may not be fans of Viviane Reding, but there is no doubt that she is a powerful force in European telecommunications policy. As the European Commissioner of Information, Society and Media, Reding has been instrumental in reducing the costs of voice and data roaming charges as well as pushing spectrum reform.
One of Reding's most recent victories was the establishment of mobile data price caps. Specifically, she called for limits on retail charges for cross-border texting and a cap of 1 euro per megabyte for data roaming charges. That plan rolled out July 1 across all 27 EU member nations.
Now Reding is causing mobile operators more sleepless nights by saying that she is not opposed to the called-party-pays business model. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Reding said that there was no reason to stick with existing pricing models just for the sake of it.
Of course, most of the European mobile community believes that the rapid development of the European cellular market was mainly due to the use of the calling-party-pays business model. The alternative business model, called-party-pays, is standard in the U.S. and has also been widely adopted across Asia.
Nevertheless, industry watchers believe this latest statement from Reding is part of the EU's ongoing drive to cut the cost of using mobile phones while traveling. Some believe that introducing a called-party-pay scenario would further reduce mobile phone charges.